• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Sunnī is a term designating the largest sectarian grouping of Muslims today, who are sometimes identified as the “orthodox.” Sunnī Muslims, or “Sunnīs,” comprise roughly 85%–90% of the world's Muslim population and can be found all over the globe. What can be called the Sunnī understanding of Islam gradually emerged in relation to other Muslim sectarian groups, specifically the Shi'i (Shī‘a) and Kharijites (Khawarij), and became recognizable as a distinctive orientation beginning in the third century AH/ninth century CE. The term Sunnī is short for Ahl Al-Sunna wa Al-Jama (“People of the Sunna and the Community”), indicating that the Prophet's authoritative example and the preservation of the unity of the umma (“Islamic community”) are two important cornerstones of what came to constitute Sunnī Islam. Of ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles